To say he had a passion for the game would be an understatement. Gordie Howe was one of professional hockey’s Mohammad Ali level legends. Howe was a hockey god … Thor on the ice, on many levels…
(FOX News) – One of the greatest hockey players of all time, Gordie Howe, passed away at the age of 88, FOX 2 has confirmed with close family friends.
Howe was a legend in Detroit, winning four Stanley Cup Championships in his 25 years as a player for the Red Wings. He took the ice for the first in 1946 and would be named an NHL All-Star 23 times in his illustrious career.
After his career ended in Detroit, he landed in the World Hockey Association with the Houston Aeros.
A cause of death was not immediately known. Howe had been battling severe health issues for years, including a stroke in 2014.
Howe was a child of the Great Depression and grew up poor in Saskatchewan.
When his family moved to Saskatoon, a neighbor sold his mom a stack of used items – where he saw a pair of skates. From there, he fell in love with the game.
Howe first tried out for the New York Rangers at the age of 15 but didn’t get a deal. The next year, the Detroit Red Wings signed the then 17-year-old to a contract.
In 1946, he made is debut in Detroit and scored his first goal in his very first game.
The legend was born.
He would be with the Wings until 1971.
In his 25 years on the ‘production line’, he collected 4 Stanley Cups, 6 Art Ross Trophies (most points), and 6 Hart Memorial Trophies (MVP).
At the age of 41, he posted a career high of 103 points with 44 goals and 59 assists.
At the age of 43, he retired from the Red Wings in 1971 and held records for most goals, most assists, total points, and most games played.
He was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Gordie Howe Hat Trick
Gordie Howe was one of the toughest guys in sports. He proved his toughness every day on the ice and, in doing so, created the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.
That’s a goal, an assist, and a fight…
Howe played during a time when professional hockey players either refused to wear helmets, or were suckered into not wearing one for fear of being labeled a “pussy”, or worse. When the helmet entered the ice culture those who decided to wear one were usually hit the hardest for it. And even when he made his professional return out of retirement he still refused to wear a bone dome. Whenever he played he never left anything off the ice. It was all there … and sometimes waiting, just waiting, for the right moment to strike.
The game was far more aggressive and brutal and faster way back in the day without today’s rules and regulations, and before the addition of the red line at the center ice. Canada was the hockey kingdom of this continent back then. Canada had officially entered WWII a few years ahead of the U.S., so many of their players were in the military. The ‘red line’, as I was told, was added to the hockey rink back back during WWII in order to slow down the game a bit for those players who came up to the big leagues to replace those professional hockey players who had gone off to fight in the war. It just remained in place since, but in recent years has been a ‘back-and-forth’ issue of continuing its use in the game. But with Howe’s 1946 debut on the ice that red line didn’t slow him down.
Howe was not just some “cement head” enforcer on the ice.
The man could, and did, put some brutal hits, revenge and cheap shots, on the opposition, but the SOB could “put the fucking puck in the fucking net!!!”.
Gordie Howe set NHL records that all players generations after him set out to break.
Gordie Howe briefly came out of retirement to play on a team with both his adult sons. His final professional goal was assisted by his own son Mark Howe.
So, who today is going to try to break that hockey record?